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The amateur often buys his puerh (Pu Er tea) cake but not in the form of thong (筒), whose name in Chinese references to a cylindrical shaped object. This is regarding the tea puerh (Pu Er tea) a stack of seven cakes wrapped in several layers of bamboo tied together.

Tong puerhTong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> detail (Wang Bing)Tong open puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Da Yi Violette 7542 2003)Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Chen Sheng Hao 2012)
  • 1.Tong puerh
  • 2.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) detail (Wang Bing)
  • 3.Tong open puerh (Pu Er tea) (Da Yi Violette 7542 2003)
  • 4.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) (Chen Sheng Hao 2012)

Cross the case of wine, it is the use of packaging not only for wholesale, professionals (tea, retailers ...) but also for collectors and enthusiasts wishing more generally store teas they like to enjoy for years to come and enjoy their gradual maturation.

The Beeng Tse Chi Cha behind flip flops puerh (Pu Er tea)

The origin of the first flip flops puerh (Pu Er tea) tea

The condition usually patties puerh (Pu Er tea) stack of seven cakes is old. It remontrerait the Qing Dynasty (清朝 1644-1912), during which the government decided that the production of puerh (Pu Er tea) should be packed and not only for portability but also to establish a unit easier to handle and as such to applying taxes levied by the empire.
We find a precise and detailed description of the container in puerh (Pu Er tea) written in 1735 during the 13th year of the reign of Yong Zheng (雍正 帝):The puerh (Pu Er tea) cakes were then called Cha Yuan (round tea). Each weighing 7 Liang (357 grams) patties were grouped by 7 in a bamboo tong, whose total weight was 49 Liang. Some argue symbolic reasons when the choice of these numbers, even if it is more likely that their origin is related to that practice and taxation system of the time.

During the communist era, Cha Yuan becomes Beeng Tse Chi Cha

In the 70s, while the puerh (Pu Er tea) was a production status and to promote the tea, the name of Cha Yuan (round tea) was changed to Bing Cha (tea cakes). The wafers were then puerh (Pu Er tea) then called 云南 七 子 饼 茶, Yunnan Qi Zi Bing Cha, name still widely used today and can be found on many cakes, often transcribed not in proper Pinying but in the form of " Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha. " Find an appropriate translation of "Yunnan Qi Zi Bing Cha," is not so easy and simply "seven cakes Yunnan tea" loses the richness of expression. If Yunnan does not pose too many problems and Bing-cha simply means tea cake, Qi-zi is more ambiguous. Qi is the number 7 while that Zi can also mean "child" and refers to the symbolism of abundant offspring. A "Yunnan Qi Zi Bing Cha" would be somehow the cake child among seven other constituting the tong.

Beeng old Tse Chi Cha-era Chi Tse BeengYunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha inscribed on a slab of 2003Stack of pancakes in his tong 7Tong closed puerh
  • 1.Beeng old Tse Chi Cha-era Chi Tse Beeng
  • 2.Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha inscribed on a slab of 2003
  • 3.Stack of pancakes in his tong 7
  • 4.Tong closed puerh

Today, and although a large number of traditional cakes always weigh 7 Liang (357g), one sees more new formats. The cake 400g is increasingly common, but also mini-cakes 250g and 100g, cheaper (per wafer), easier to sell and convenient to store or handle. Sometimes point to these contemporary formats adapting the number of wafers by tong, especially for cakes 250g which are sometimes packaged in 5 or 8 or patties 100g that are sometimes found in thong 10 pcs.

Tong mini cakes 88 grams (Kucong Shan Zhai)Tong 5 cakes 200g (Wang Bing)Tong wafer 400gTong Small cakes
  • 1.Tong mini cakes 88 grams (Kucong Shan Zhai)
  • 2.Tong 5 cakes 200g (Wang Bing)
  • 3.Tong wafer 400g
  • 4.Tong Small cakes

The tong tea are then traditionally packed by 12 in a flat woven bamboo basket called Jian (件). During the great era of the road during which the puerh (Pu Er tea) tea was brought back to man or horse, especially to Tibet in Beijing or in Thailand, horses were loaded with 2 jian, a total of 60kg about (168 wafers) and it seems that this was the reason for the Jian. Although today teas are rarely worn on horseback, many teas are always packed and transported jian bamboo, while the industry for his part prefers more the cardboard box. Similarly we often see today jian tong 6 or 8, easier to handle than 12 jian tong.

Horses used to carry wood, rice, tea and other goods on the roads of Yunnanuttilisés old baskets to transport jiàn puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> on the road for horsesOld Baskets for uttilisés transport jiàn puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> for horses on the road Puerh stored Jian (Menghai)Jian puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> at a tea shop in Kunming
  • 1.Horses used to carry wood, rice, tea and other goods on the roads of Yunnan
  • 2.uttilisés old baskets to transport jiàn puerh (Pu Er tea) on the road for horses
  • 3.Old Baskets for uttilisés transport jiàn puerh (Pu Er tea) for horses on the road
  • 4. Puerh stored Jian (Menghai)
  • 5.Jian puerh (Pu Er tea) at a tea shop in Kunming

The traditional packaging and craft of bamboo tong differs between regions or producer to another. Various techniques, often exist in the traditional clothing of the tong. Usually made from bamboo, the number of leaves against their cut, the nature of the rope used to tie the thong or nodes differ employees and give it a unique character. The analysis of these details also helps to ensure the authenticity of some teas, especially for older teas.

Tong tied with a green ribbon (Kucong Shan Zhai)Metal Tying (Menghai Tea Factory)Tong pyrography (Chen Sheng Hao)Tong buffered (Da Lio Cha Shan)
  • 1.Tong tied with a green ribbon (Kucong Shan Zhai)
  • 2.Metal Tying (Menghai Tea Factory)
  • 3.Tong pyrography (Chen Sheng Hao)
  • 4.Tong buffered (Da Lio Cha Shan)

In this sense a logo where registration is sometimes printed on the tong or pyrographed either by the producer or by the collector or the tea house. A number of information, including the recipe for tea during the communist era, were in fact indicated that the Da Piao, large ticket accompanying the jian, and summers often stamped or written by hand on top of tong by tea house or a collectors opening jian to avoid confusing the different teas.

Recipe stamped on the top of a thongTools for branding uttilisés thongs tea (Baopuxuan)Manual registration of a collector on top of a thongDapiao accompanying Jian tea and providing information on tea that contains
  • 1.Recipe stamped on the top of a thong
  • 2.Tools for branding uttilisés thongs tea (Baopuxuan)
  • 3.Manual registration of a collector on top of a thong
  • 4.Dapiao accompanying Jian tea and providing information on tea that contains

A ticket is sometimes added to the patties inside the tong. Like the Nei Fei (内 飞) included in the cake, and Nei Piao (内 票) that accompanies the cake, the tong piao (筒 票) slipped into the thong and provides guidance on the tea he contains.
Prior to 1949 patties were also not individually wrapped in paper like today and bamboo tong was the only packaging cakes, while that Piao Tong was the only informative or advertising element accompanying the tea. Current prior to 2000 the presence of tong piao is increasingly rare today, in favor of dapiao (大 票) that accompanies the jian and generally gives more accurate information (such as production date, etc. .. .) than other "tickets" attached to tea.

Tong Tong Qing Hao Piao 40sDa contemporary Piao (Mengku Rong Shi 2006)Jian box of 6 cakesTong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> on the shelf of a Amateur puerh
  • 1.Tong Tong Qing Hao Piao 40s
  • 2.Da contemporary Piao (Mengku Rong Shi 2006)
  • 3.Jian box of 6 cakes
  • 4.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) on the shelf of a Amateur puerh

If the packaging is tong and a long tradition that has endured for over 300 years, one might wonder why today we continue to be packaged patties puerh (Pu Er tea) so, and why fans prefer to buy their puerh (Pu Er tea) in this form?

Why buy his puerh (Pu Er tea) in thong

tong, above all convenient packaging

The tong first practical role:it can carry, store and organize cakes easier while protecting them (try wearing a stack of 14 pancakes, you immediately understand the interest of the packing).

Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> on the shelf of an amateur18 Porter puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> cakes are not packed, a périeux sport ...tea cellarThongs of puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> shelf (purple cane)
  • 1.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) on the shelf of an amateur
  • 2.18 Porter puerh (Pu Er tea) cakes are not packed, a périeux sport ...
  • 3.tea cellar
  • 4.Thongs of puerh (Pu Er tea) shelf (purple cane)

This is especially important for those who have a "cellar tea" and store their puerh (Pu Er tea) for years to come. The day when you rearrange your basement for example, and undertake such passage of a few dozen cookies to a rack to another, the interest that these cakes are packaged in a stack makes sense. For beyond a possible large storage cellar of your tea, it is advisable to move every few years the position of the tong in space, for example by switching teas stored on the lower and upper shelves to to standardize storage conditions.
Beyond the practical side, the tong puerh (Pu Er tea) in its bamboo packaging also gives the tea its optimal storage conditions protecting not only light but also partially variations of temperature and humidity and this while being allowed to breathe and allowing the sheet post-fermentation. After a few years, and under the conditions of storage, the difference between a single wafer or stored only protected by a bamboo tong is generally perceived, whether in packaging or tea itself.

Keep and be aged puerh (Pu Er tea) we love

What puerh (Pu Er tea) tea and other dark teas have unique and fascinating effect compared with other families of tea, is their ability to evolve with time. Or where the vast majority of tea degrade over time and lose their aroma, tea puerh (Pu Er tea) when properly stored, firstly retain the wealth, but more his character evolves from year to year for the delight of fans. By the properties of conservation and maturation amateur puerh (Pu Er tea) as the wine lover is usually a small personal cellar to store and see evolve teas he loves.
The first reason storage is primarily conservation teas. If the industry is trying, by some technical skills and the use of the assembly, standardize certain tastes, and play the same characters from one year to another, the tea is a natural product derived from agriculture and is dependent on the weather. There's like wine better than another year for a given region or village, but also more successful than other productions, and it will not be possible to return the following year. Similarly, the producers do not usually keep in stock teas previous years and flow in the last production year, so if there is a leaving a very wide range of puerh (Pu Er tea) of the year, it is more difficult to find older vintages of some cakes. The amateur therefore generally preferred, when he found it particularly enjoy tea, put one or a few thong aside, to be on to have for years to come.

cellar puerhTong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> in an amateurTong started in a cellar puerhTong started in a cellar puerh
  • 1.cellar puerh
  • 2.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) in an amateur
  • 3.Tong started in a cellar puerh

But puerh (Pu Er tea) not only be preserved, it evolves over time, acquires new characters, improves tell fans aged teas, and also amateur puerh (Pu Er tea) tea stores generally suitable amount to have the pleasure to see him evolve from year to year. There's is a real pleasure to see and change its teas As the years or to find five or 10 years later gave a tea and see how far it has traveled since.
This habit of storing puerh (Pu Er tea) tea is also very old, as shown in a Chinese saying that today our children drink tea you buy. So many cakes puerh (Pu Er tea) 1900s to the present day are still there, and have traveled for decades to the shelter of their bamboo tong. For Deng Shi Hai, one of the largest specialist teas older before 1949, the quality and finish of tong cakes antique puerh (Pu Er tea) also clearly shows the willingness of producers time to create not a product of courantw consumption, but a product made and designed to be treasured for decades to come.

Give and share

Tea, including the puerh (Pu Er tea) tea, has also long been chosen to offer. The concept of gift is indeed something especially important in this and the Chinese culture, and the center of the relationship with the other. But in Chinese culture gift is often primarily a brand of expenditure that was made:it is not to be original or to find out what pleases the other, but to show that the we spent a lot of money for him. A gift should be big, bulky, expensive, at the risk of sounding cheap. It is thus interesting to note that one of the most expensive and precious commodity puerh (Pu Er tea) in 2012 by Chen Sheng Hao, from the famous local Lao Banzhang, was not pressed as one might imagine in packaging or 100g 200g to make it more accessible, but only in large cakes 500g and 1kg brick, clearly thought to be gifts price! Similarly, we often prefer to offer China a tong puerh, more than a single slab, to get their hands full and they show no hesitation to pay the price it takes!

Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Chen Sheng Hao)Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Baopuxuan)Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Baopuxuan)Tong puerh <span class='translation'>(Pu Er tea)</span> (Lan Ting Chun)
  • 1.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) (Chen Sheng Hao)
  • 2.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) (Baopuxuan)
  • 4.Tong puerh (Pu Er tea) (Lan Ting Chun)

Another practice more poetic and close to our Western sensibility, and see the tong puerh (Pu Er tea) a dated product, which will evolve over time and that is that we offer. This is a gift suited to a particular event, a birth, a wedding, a historic anniversary. Kind of put in the way of living stone, is to taste and enjoy 20 years later tea of ​​her marriage, or to taste with his son or daughter 30 years a tea produced the year of his birth, and to appreciate the passage of time that tea carries with it ...

Save money

Finally, finally, a very pragmatic reason for good number of fans continue to buy their puerh (Pu Er tea) tea cakes pile is that it allows economies. Negligible if one consumes a cake from time to time, earning money immediately takes over her as soon as we seek to establish a small winery puerh.
The price is indeed a generally cheaper when you buy full tong, or jian (June-December tong according to the producers) the selling price to the wafer, allowing to obtain better prices on tea it is desired to store. Already notable for young puerh (Pu Er tea) (or purchase jian, see sometimes tong provides wholesale price), it is often more interesting to buy puerh (Pu Er tea) older. Indeed for many older teas, and under the conditions of storage, packaging top and bottom of each tong cakes are found damaged and are difficult to sell in the room, or lower prices, prompting a number of vendors to provide good price for the purchase and unopened whole thong.

Tong 2005 (Mengku Rong Shi)Cakes damaged inside a tong 2003 (Menghai Tea Factory)Tong 2005 (Mengku Rong Shi)Tong 7572 2004 closed (Menghai Tea Factory)
  • 1.Tong 2005 (Mengku Rong Shi)
  • 2.Cakes damaged inside a tong 2003 (Menghai Tea Factory)
  • 3.Tong 2005 (Mengku Rong Shi)
  • 4.Tong 7572 2004 closed (Menghai Tea Factory)

But even more than the reduction by purchasing tong compared to buying the cake is the long term storage of puerh (Pu Er tea) quantity allows big savings, especially when it comes puerh (Pu Er tea) old. The rising price of young puerh (Pu Er tea) from one year to another is indeed usually quite reasonable, except for some particularly renowned producers, or some soils particularly popular, and subject that still manages to get his hands on , redeem a given tea a few years later still reasonable.
The old puerh (Pu Er tea) by cons, often undergo annual increase ranging between 25% and 50%, and immediately buy some tong a tea that can be enjoyed for years to come is almost a necessity if you want to enjoy this tea the future, with the cost that they are forced to pay the same tea cake a few years later. This is all the more necessary for teas few decades, the prices are already very high today and the annual increase will quickly out of reach of many fans ...

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